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False Allegations Made

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by chambkona, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. chambkona

    chambkona New commenter

    I don't really know what I'll get out of posting this as I know I can't go into details.

    Yesterday morning my headteacher was told a report had been made to the police and passed to the LADO that myself and another member of staff had assaulted a child whilst using the handling techniques that our school policy specified. This incident happened 10 days before it was reported.

    I spent the day teaching and wasn't informed until 4:30 pm and by the time the meeting was over and I'd got over the initial anger and shock I couldn't get hold of my unions.

    The other member of staff hasn't been informed as she went home at lunchtime and I'm not allowed to say anything to her. She will be told on Monday morning.

    I feel like this is it, my teaching career is over even if I am found to be innocent and followed the guidelines. I don't feel like I can trust anyone on SLT now as they haven't supported us with this child which is why it led to the circumstances anyway. I don't feel like I can return to the school. I'm not sure want to carry on teaching. I've only been teaching a few years but after a difficult year already I just want to pack it all in now and go and do a job where I don't feel emotionally battered constantly.

    If anyone can offer any words of wisdom I would REALLY appreciate it. Feel so flat now that I have a whole weekend where I cant do anything.
  2. BehaviourQueen

    BehaviourQueen New commenter

    Union. Email. Check their website for advice. Union-up. Hope you get some answers soon
  3. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    As in post 2 - contact your Union ASAP (and not just the school rep - higher up!)
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Without commenting on the actual circumstance, the thing to do is create comfortable and safe distraction for yourself. Worries such as this are going to make it hard, say, to settle and rest at home, so try and get out and about, maybe go for a walk, visit a cafe, library, friends who are not in teaching, whatever gets you using up some energy.
    You do need to speak to your union, who I am sure will advise you of the same and also comment on the specifics, but obviously you cannot reach them.

    Are you to go into work on Monday? Understandably you don't feel like it.
    It is perfectly legitimate to self certify as unwell, and use the morning trying to gain the relevant union contact. The advice to not contact your colleague is to be taken seriously for the moment.

    A couple of things are worth bearing in mind-the HT had sight of the report made to the police yesterday morning, and you were not informed until well after the close of school, so your union will reflect on the fact that you were not hauled out of your class straight away. This is known to have happened to others. You have not been suspended, or so it seems from your post.
    Additionally it is worth noting that the parents went to the police rather than to your HT, which would be the more conventional route for such a concern, and so your HT is under pressure to take the report extremely seriously. It does not reflect any outcome or attitude your HT may have. It is procedure to inform you as he did.
    Other than that, do what you can to take off the pressure, including not going in to work if it helps your thinking. Calling in sick ought not to effect how this issue pans out.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No, no, no.

    Your career isn't over. The school has a procedure to follow and you'll doubtless be exonerated and it'll pass.

    Really. Hold your head high. This time next week? It could all be over. You never know. The allegation might be withdrawn. You know the truth and I don't see any evidence of staff being "framed" or "fitted up" or anything of that nature. Allegations have to be investigation. It's possible they could be dropped within a day or two.

    Infuriating and annoying and maddening.

    But follow the advice given by @BehaviourQueen and do what it says on the mugs. Keep calm and carry on.
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    OK - so union is your first action on Monday a.m. - You must not attend any more meetings with out union support and advice. When you go in on Monday download copies of the school handling policy, the school staff handbook especially any sections relating to incidents of this nature and any e-mails you have sent concerning this pupil to SMT. Also any other relevant documentation. If the school suspends you, then you will not have access to any of these documents. But DO NOT take copies of any confidential info about this child. E.G. if you have reported things on SIMS make a list of Time, date and nature of communication, but don't take home copies of specific info about this child, you could be in breach of safeguarding if you do.
    I assume / hope that that you and your colleague submitted a detailed report about the original incident. Was this followed up by SMT in accordance with their policy. Check all info ASAP and make copies. (Don't want them doctoring reports to exonerate them selves at your expense)
    This telling you at the end of the day stinks and you are right not to trust them.

    I am also very sorry to hear of your predicament, the weekend is going to be tough I hope you have friends and family who can give you the love and support you need to get through this. I hope things will work out, good luck.

    P.S. You don't want to hear this right now but in future, and I am sure you do have a future. handling policies are dangerous nonsense. Never touch a child, call for SMT, Let them take the risks.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It is in fact in OPs favour that the report was known to the HT in the morning and they were informed at the end of the day.
    It means that the HT knowingly allowed OP to teach all day after an allegation had been brought to their attention. The HT response could have been a lot more drastic.
    Whether this reflects on the severity of the situation is unclear, but certainly the HT will be held to account for this time lapse, and most definitely knows it.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Do you know who made the report and why it was made ten days after the incident?

    I assume it’s policy to make a report following any incident when a teacher has handled a child, so I hope you have written information about the circumstances.

    I agree that you should contact your union on Monday for advice. I think I’d wait to hear what they recommend before going into school, although it doesn’t sound, from what you’ve written, that you have been told not to come in.

    It’s not surprising you feel so shocked and upset, but wait and see how things develop before making any longer term decisions.
  9. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I'm pretty sure you would have done this anyway, but if you didn't make a full, factual note of what happened at the time, you should do this now, writing down everything you can remember.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Don't try to investigate or speculate. Speak to nobody. Write down anything you can remember but share nothing.
    Curae, caress, jlishman2158 and 5 others like this.
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    All good advice.

    I do think you should go in on Monday and 'face it out' but urgently speak to your union.

    If it was that desperate the police would have visited you at home and you would have been told not to go to school.

    I think the school are panicking about their policies and procedures.
    Curae, caress, agathamorse and 3 others like this.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Is there no union emergency number? I appreciate most people won't be available all weekend, but surely there is a number for situations like this, as most teachers are in school 8-5 Mon-Fri-is there not a legal adviser on call?
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  13. smelia17

    smelia17 New commenter

    Exactly the same happened to me in my NQT year. I was suspended and off work for a couple of weeks, but cleared by the police and found by school, the academy trust and the LADO to have acted within school policy and to have done nothing wrong. It was a "guided move" - I will never again use any of the recommended procedures - far too risky. The police didn't even need to interview me and cleared me on the basis of what my witnesses (those who overheard it all) said.

    It was almost a year ago and I am still not over it, but I have gone back to teaching. The other parents were great, ignored the rumours or offered me words of support, as did my colleagues. I am now at a new school and although some thi GS give me the fear and bring it all back (feeling a bit wobbly now TBH), you can get through this.
  14. Penguin47

    Penguin47 New commenter

    Definitely seek union advice and make sure they do what they are paid to do!

    I truly hope you are found innocent of this malicious action, but as I've just so recently found out even false accusations can result in dismissal. Keep a note of any facts (EG. Time of day) that may help your case.

    Best of luck to you!!
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  15. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Regarding any statements you might make about this, in teaching we are encouraged to be reflective, e.g. what went well, what did not, what could we improve or do differently.
    This is not one of those occasions.
    As far as the school is concerned, and police if they pursue this, you followed the handling policy correctly, you did not cause any harm to this child, you are astonished that this accusation has been made, you are totally innocent.
    If things went wrong it is because the school failed to give you the training and support you you needed and it is the fault and responsibility of the school if things went wrong. (Don't say this - just keep in reserve) Remember by implementing a policy of this type the school put you at risk of accusations, they are the ones who are accountable if it goes wrong. You should not be made a scapegoat.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    See post 13.

    Sorry this happened to @smelia17

    I bet it happens a lot* and the outcome is almost always the same. One isn't allowed to talk openly about it so people don't realise it's not uncommon and are terrified. I hope that'll prove to have been unnecessary - the fear.

    *A mere guess based on the fact that teens (and indeed some parents) can be mendacious and troubled little blighters who are not above telling lies in that troubled adolescent stage of life.
  17. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Good advice.
  18. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Don't worry, if you didn't do anything wrong, no one can prove your did, can they.

    s to going in on Monday, why should you? if thats how you are treated, I suspct you might be finding yourself too stressed to consider it, even if you are allowed to.

    I have seen a head teacher come and give this news to a colleague sitting next to me. Checking it was ok to speak in front of me, he then went on to explain the allegation, the procedure and the likely outcome and time scale, to reassure my colleague that he had the support of the school, to advice him to contact his union there and then, and to give him the option of staying at work or time off.

    That is how it should be done.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Have you never heard of 'miscarriage of justice'?
    Lalad and jellycowfish like this.
  20. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It actually is not how it should be done at all! No allegation about a teacher ought to be presented whilst other staff are there or discussed with staff other than those involved in the procedure and even then on advice.
    The scenario you describe is devoid of professionalism, sensitivity and correct procedure.

    I absolutely cannot see what the HT in OPs scenario has done wrong. An allegation was made, they had sight of this in the morning, they kept OP teaching all day before informing them.
    There can only be two reasons for this-
    The allegation was not serious enough for the HT to be procedurally compelled to suspend them, which is a good thing
    The HT was putting the kids first, with the common sense of anybody who is in charge of contemplating a need for last minute staffing changes. OP would most certainly not have been able to teach as well if they had known about this immediately.

    I think you miss the point here, which is not anything to do with the HT-it is to do with the parents of the child, who have decided to make a police matter out of something which they claim happened 10 days ago and without approaching the school about it first.
    The bigger point of course is not this, but rather that an allegation against any teacher is upsetting and distressing whether founded or unfounded. Whether you are some sort of perpetrator or whether you are victim to barging parents of deluded children, it is very difficult to deal with on an emotional level.

    It's a bit odd to assume wrong on the part of the HT in their story, tbh.

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